The Lemon Gelato Journey - Build Thread (1 Viewer)

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Aug 18, 2021
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Virginia Beach
Like most of the readers here, I've been tinkering with cars for a couple years. I started with JDM (Mazda Protege and NA Miata), tried out some German cars (VW R32 and BMW 335i) and came back to JDM in the form of a 3rd gen Tacoma. The first Mazda was totaled by a negligent driver, the second was sold due to lack of space, the R32 was sold to my brother and the 335i went to the same friend who bought my Miata. I picked up the Tacoma because driving 45 miles one way for work in a '94 Miata is something only crazy people do. New position at work allowed me to be full remote for work and now I no longer needed a brand new truck that sits in the driveway. Fast forward to Covid-19 shutdowns and traveling is even further reduced due to lockdowns.

That job previously had me traveling for extended periods of time (months) and I was browsing used cars and came across this nearby. After falling in love with root beer colored paint and the lines of the FJ60 I was hooked. I wasn't able to purchase that one at the time but I knew I'd eventually get my hands on one. Snap back to 2021 and I came across an ad from a man who was bringing over cruisers from the west coast and selling them out here in the east.
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The first image I saw from his listing. My 1984 FJ60 lived most of it's life in New Mexico and Arizona (still registered in AZ when I bought it). Outer body panels are in some of the best shape I've seen, especially considering the higher than average mileage (342k).

He had six total cruisers in various states of repair/selling. The blue tarp in the background is hiding a good looking FJ40.
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That green FJ60 in the background has since been sold. That aftermarket paint color suited it well.
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I had my eyes on this brown FJ60, but it was modified with a fairly specific purpose in mind. I was looking for something better oriented for daily driving. I was surprised to see how easily 35s fit these trucks, they're noticeably larger than the 33s I've got now.
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This FJ62 was immaculate. The interior was flawless, looked like it had just rolled off the factory floor. Even had that new car smell.
 
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Aug 18, 2021
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Virginia Beach
This will be a fairly picture heavy thread as a heads up. This website has been a wealth of knowledge for these trucks and I'd like to contribute what I can to show thanks. I'll try to document everything I do along the way to making this a vehicle I can own for a lifetime.

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The drive home and first fill up, notice the now purple tint. If you look closely you can probably tell years of scratches and marks on the tint make it almost impossible to see out of. It's a legitimate safety hazard. Vehicles behind me look like Salvador Dali paintings viewed through a class Coke bottle.
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Made it home safe and sound. I was pleasantly surprised to find I could do 75mph on the highway without issue. What was not pleasant were the various squeaks, rattles and vibrations that accompany old steel vehicles doing 75mph on 33s. Couple that with the hole in my dash where a radio should be and it became a fairly taxing journey. Airpods are going to be my saving grace until I can get that fixed.

Immediate Needs:
  1. Begin tracking down the sources of my various noises to make sure it's nothing serious.
  2. Remove the purple haze attempting to mask other motorists on the road.
  3. Ensure that all of my body seals are sufficient enough to keep out rain water. It's not as forgiving of a climate here in Va as it was in the desert so I need to make sure the interior stays dry.
 

diesellibrarian

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Sep 30, 2013
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332
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Where the prairies meet the Rockies
Nice find! Good-looking truck.

Unless you know for sure it's been done recently, it's never a bad idea to baseline all fluids and filters, check timing and spark plugs and other tune-up type stuff. Squeaks and rattles are part of driving a 40-year-old tin can, but nevertheless take a look at your body mounts, spring bushings, and other suspension components.

Enjoy your new 60!
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Messages
75
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Virginia Beach
Nice find! Good-looking truck.

Unless you know for sure it's been done recently, it's never a bad idea to baseline all fluids and filters, check timing and spark plugs and other tune-up type stuff. Squeaks and rattles are part of driving a 40-year-old tin can, but nevertheless take a look at your body mounts, spring bushings, and other suspension components.

Enjoy your new 60!
Thanks for looking out! I didn't hear many, if any, suspension noises on the drive home. I spent 20+ minutes underneath it before I decided to buy it and it's almost clean enough to eat off of. Everything looks good down low.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
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Virginia Beach
I did some basic maintenance to make sure it continues to run well. The 60 came with a complimentary stick to hold up the upper portion of the tailgate because the struts were original, featured here while I use a grinder to remove the ball end of the mounts.
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Changed the oil and oil filter because I have no idea when it was done last. First startup afterwards was much quieter and the motor sounds healthy. Transmission and diff fluids are next on the list and I've purchased new spark plugs. Upon inspection, the plug wires look relatively new so I might wait to do those.

I had a set of wheels meant for my now sold Tacoma that I've held on to. Brought them with me to test fit and they're perfect in the rear and just barely touching the tie rod ends in the front. I'm hoping I can get away with a 1/4" spacer. If that spacer is enough to clear the steering components than I'll get new studs on all four corners. No idea when they were done, if ever, but I want to be safe. I also don't plan any serious wheeling with this truck. The most it'll realistically see is some beaches and light trails.
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A friend from my car club helped me out and put some ceramic coating on all 5 wheels. These are 16x8 with a 0 offset.

Since these photos were taken most of the tint has been removed. Looks so much better now and the last piece is the rear window.

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The sides weren't as bad, but the rear window looks like it'll be more difficult. I'm hoping the rear window heater lines are still working so I'm trying to be careful. I'll probably have to unbolt it and lay it flat for an easier time. That will also help me replace that top rubber gasket because I can't think of another way that can get done. Anyone who's done the gaskets that can weigh in with advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

diesellibrarian

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The upper hatch is only held on by four bolts (plus the struts), BUT if you end up deciding to remove it to take off the tint or install the gasket, first take off the access panels for the wiper motor, etc., and disconnect the washer fluid line and the electrical connectors (I think there are two connectors plus a ground). [EDIT: you don't have power locks so there would just be the wiper motor connector] Pull that stuff out through the holes at the top of the hatch (one on each corner) before you take it off the hinges.
 
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Joined
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Messages
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Virginia Beach
The upper hatch is only held on by four bolts (plus the struts), BUT if you end up deciding to remove it to take off the tint or install the gasket, first take off the access panels for the wiper motor, etc., and disconnect the washer fluid line and the electrical connectors (I think there are two connectors plus a ground). [EDIT: you don't have power locks so there would just be the wiper motor connector] Pull that stuff out through the holes at the top of the hatch (one on each corner) before you take it off the hinges.
Is there a way to swap out the gasket without removing the hatch? I don’t mind removing it but I’d like to avoid it if possible. Just seems a little tight to both remove and install a new gasket.
 

diesellibrarian

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Is there a way to swap out the gasket without removing the hatch? I don’t mind removing it but I’d like to avoid it if possible. Just seems a little tight to both remove and install a new gasket.
Go for it if you think it can be done, but in all honesty I think dropping the hatch will save you a ton of frustration.
 

Ironclad

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Richmond, VA
Nice 60 series! Glad to know another cruiser is back in Virginia. I’m in Richmond. There’s a few of us here and in VB/tidewater/southside.
 
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Go for it if you think it can be done, but in all honesty I think dropping the hatch will save you a ton of frustration.
Spent some time looking at it this weekend. Even if I could get the gasket off the top, I wouldn't be able to get the new one on. Just poking around caused the rubber to come off of the plastic retainers. Going to look into getting the wiring free and I'll dive in.

Nice 60 series! Glad to know another cruiser is back in Virginia. I’m in Richmond. There’s a few of us here and in VB/tidewater/southside.
Thank you! I've seen a white 62 near me and I know there's a red 60 in Newport News. It's always fun seeing other older cruisers around the area. Any recommendations on light trails in the state?

fun fun fun...so exciting. enjoy the new ride!!! great lookin rig!!!
Much appreciated! Enjoying restoring it step by step.
 
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I was reading through some of the posts here and was surprised to see that people like these 2F motors for their quiet and smooth running conditions. Mine was neither quit nor smooth so I started poking around and saw this.
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This blurry photo is what I assume is the original fuel filter. Ordered a new one and replaced it ASAP.

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OEM part number for our fuel filters.


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Old and busted and new hotness.


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The fuel is actually visible entering the filter now and everything is smoother once it was swapped. It starts and idles easier, acceleration is smoother and cruising speed on the highway doesn't feel labored like it used to. My engine was rebuilt before I got it (got the receipts for the work) and I figured maybe they put a small cam in it because it sounded like an old V8. The motor is now makes less noise than the wind at highway speeds, feels like a new car. I can also just roll into the throttle from a stop now instead of giving it the beans to stop it from dying.

This was less than 5 minutes of work and might be the easiest maintenance item on these trucks. It's easiest to loosen these lines with the filter still in the holder. Undo the feed line (left in the photo) and point it straight up. Undoing the line on the right will cause fuel to leak if you're not careful. As soon as you remove the righthand line from the filter try to leave it pointing upward while you swap filters. There was still fuel in this section of the line so have some paper towels underneath just in case. Unused fuel will also be in the filter, so be careful about swinging it around when you slide it out of the holder.

To minimize splashing, I found it was easier to insert the filter into the line going to the engine (right hand line in the photo). Make sure that the arrow on the top of the filter is pointing towards the engine and not the firewall. Once the righthand fuel line is connected, slide the filter back into the holder and reattach the feed line from the gas tank. Tighten both of the clamps, fire it up and make sure you're not leaking before you drive it.

I'm keeping track of all of the parts I order so if anyone needs something just ask and I'll be able to send you a link.
 
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This hose bracket broke loose from my intake and there's now a small hole. Not sure what the best way to fix it is, if anyone has a better idea than some tape I'm all ears.

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Mill Creek, WA
What a looker! Congratulations on the truck. Your shop looks impressive.

This hose bracket broke loose from my intake and there's now a small hole. Not sure what the best way to fix it is, if anyone has a better idea than some tape I'm all ears.

View attachment 2809474
Two options I can see.
1) Buy a used intake
2) Patch the hole (turn the jagged hole into a rectangle and weld in a patch). Clean up the bracket on the back by removing the chunk of intake. Drill that bracket and plug weld it back on. Then paint your repair.
 
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Chasing down interior sounds and I've got some high pitched squeaking coming from my back seat. Went to inspect it and noticed that I'm missing the two bolts that hold down the driver side male portion of the assembly.
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Also explains why I could never put the rear seat down from just one side. @4Cruisers was kind enough to sell me a set that he wasn't using. I'm working on disassembling them, cleaning them up, painting and then installing them. I've also got a set of replacement rubber seat bumpers from @CruiserTrash. He's got a thread here and even made a website for them. Super stoked to get these finished and installed.
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Here's what they look like disassembled in with an "exploded view" for anyone else that wants to do this later.


I've got all of my door, body and rear hatch seals ordered. I've also got the City Racer LED headlights that need to go in. The stock lights aren't cutting it when there's no street lights around.
 

CruiserTrash

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Denver
@TheEngineer Little known secret related to my rear seat: even withthw new bumpers in place I have a squeak. Don't worry! The bumpers are doing their job eliminating rattle, the noise is something else - the post attachment on one side of the seat back is loose. It doesn't matter how much I tighten the screws, I can still grab it with my hand and move it. I'm afraid I have to take off some of the upholstery to get at the internals so I'm avoiding it.

So ... were you able to get at whatever the screws go into on the inside of the seat? Have any pictures of that process? I'd love to know more.
 
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@TheEngineer Little known secret related to my rear seat: even withthw new bumpers in place I have a squeak. Don't worry! The bumpers are doing their job eliminating rattle, the noise is something else - the post attachment on one side of the seat back is loose. It doesn't matter how much I tighten the screws, I can still grab it with my hand and move it. I'm afraid I have to take off some of the upholstery to get at the internals so I'm avoiding it.

So ... were you able to get at whatever the screws go into on the inside of the seat? Have any pictures of that process? I'd love to know more.
You might have to dig into that seat to figure it out. I don't have any carpet behind my rear seat, all I see is metal. I would assume that whatever holds the two screws in for each post is attached to the seatback. There's a torsion bar that links the two posts on the seat itself, that's how you're (supposed to be) able to drop the seat down from either side without doing both.

I'm going to do the same process for the body mounted locks for the rear seats at some point. I can hear grit in the spring when I move the latch up and down and I'm still finding sand and fur from the previous owner.
 

CruiserTrash

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"Sand and fur" .... sounds familiar. My torsion bar still works from both sides, but something inside behind the post on the driver's side is definitely loose. I'll dig into it and may report back.
 

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